On another linux system I might expect to find a .profile file, or something in /etc used by default. I'm unable to determine what sets the system path for processes not running in a shell.

  • I'm not sure either, but you can create /etc/profile and use it. Dec 17, 2010 at 19:23

1 Answer 1


It appears to be defined in /init.rc, at least on my device:

export PATH /sbin:/system/sbin:/system/bin:/system/xbin

I don't think you can edit this file directly though, even with root access, because it is part of the read-only boot image, not the /system partition. If you want to edit it then I guess you would have to unpack, edit and re-pack the boot image as described here:


I haven't tried this though.

  • Thanks. I'm going to continue looking for a solution that doesn't involve modifying the boot image, such as possibly union mounting a replacement copy of the file on top of the boot image late in the process. I'll update this if I find a solution.
    – Sparr
    Jan 18, 2011 at 3:14

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